Monthly Archives: September 2011

Penny for a whim

You pick these moments to call me
like pennies from a wishing pond of your whims.
Pennies that, as a favor to you, I sometimes swallow, so in my silence I know nothing.
And looking at myself talking to you, I feel I know nothing,
except that maybe this isn’t what I look like, but how I want to be seen in your eyes
I may know nothing, but I know that by year’s end,
my hair will be longer and maybe I’ll make it darker.
And it will be funny to look at me then, because I won’t look exactly like you remember.
That is when it will be my pennies for the picking
in a wishing pond of my whims that you won’t have a reflection in.
But regardless, I will trust you to still remember
my favorite words that you helped me penny-pick:
‘More’ and ‘Next’.

Bittersweet miracle

I had wondered for some weeks now if it would come to this. If one firm, unshakeable decision on my part would affect not only the friendship it directly involved, but also the peripheral connections. And apparently, it would.

I’ve never really believed in coincidences. I’ve always gone by the creed that most — if not all — things happen for a reason. I don’t know how long ago it disappeared before I noticed it. It could have been minutes, hours, two days at the most, but the timing was what convinced me that this was no coincidence. The conscious decision I made to remove myself from the life of someone whom I no longer considered worth making the effort to remain friends with had led to the loss of another friend who had, at one point, been everything to me.

Even though I had imagined this happening — and indeed, imagined it aloud to Shirley — it still came as a small surprise when it finally happened, or when I finally realized it. But, most surprisingly of all, was the absence of that stab of pain I always felt at the slightest memory, the slightest trigger, of a time long ago, when that destructive, consuming love had dictated my life. And that absence is the most liberating part of this seemingly endless process of trying to get over you, because I’m going to take it as a sign that the process is finally, gloriously, coming to a close.

Even to the very end, you were always my bittersweet miracle.

Sunday drivers everyday

Ever since I resolved to come out of the shell I had temporarily retreated into last year, I’ve made an effort to not water or dumb down my statements and opinions, and to be as frank and candid as I please, without worrying what others would think about me for doing so.

So in this same respect, I’m not exaggerating when I say I despise Malaysians. Or more specifically, Malaysian drivers. Either it’s my imagination, or the road ethics in this country have actually deteriorated yet further in the years that I’ve been back here, to the point where I’ve almost been reduced to tears while fighting traffic to and from anywhere. What it is that drives these neanderthals — pun intended — to screeching across three lanes without so much as signaling, or to dart out of an intersection without bothering to look, or to double-park and leave their car without thinking that whoever they are blocking might eventually have to leave, is beyond my level of human comprehension.

What is most baffling of all is this Malaysian — or is it Asian? — mentality that it’s every man or woman for themselves.

Take, for instance, the day I was waiting for a parking spot in Pavilion. The driver leaving the spot appeared to be a poor judge of distance, so I reversed my own car to give him a wider berth to exit the spot. Before I had been in reverse gear more than two seconds, I heard the obnoxious honk of the car behind me over the wail of my reverse sensors. I realized that the woman in the Lexus behind was afraid that I would reverse into her, so out of spite and determination to make her exercise her obnoxiousness, I kept on reversing until the sensors told me I had about a foot and a half left before I would back into her. And by God, that little elbow of hers remained on the horn until my reverse lights were off.

Every fiber of my being was screaming at me to get out of the car, walk over to her and say, “I realize you’re in a Lexus and I’m in a Proton, but even my Proton has reverse sensors, so stop honking like a crazy cunt.” (And I am now very tempted to put that on a rear-windshield sticker) Instead, I flipped her the finger and zoomed into my parking spot, forgetting to make sure that she had seen it.

Yes, I am no longer afraid to call someone — and there have been a great many — a cunt if I believe right down to the bottom of my heart that she deserves it.

Or take, for instance, the day I stopped to let a bus merge into my lane. The price I paid for ensuring that the bus didn’t ram into my side, tip over my roof and crush me and possibly other cars around me was a fanfare of flashing headlights from the vehicle behind, and a man gesticulating wildly at what he must have thought was this woman’s stupidity.

So again, I gave him the finger before I drove off.

The concept of driving behavior in this country can really be put down to a matter of lazy versus stupid: one can’t really help being stupid, but one can help being lazy. So by this same principle, occasionally I feel that it’s not entirely the drivers’ faults that they have appalling driving skills; after all, when the newest generation of drivers had to obtain their licenses by bribing the officials, it’s really not surprising that they got their licenses without making much effort to drive like normal people at all. But when they are unable to exercise one of the most basic human applications — consideration — then they are even more deserving of the derision and contempt of all the other motorists who are just trying to reach their destinations without dying at the hands of an apparent inanimate.

I have heard many people bemoan the disastrous traffic jams that take place every single morning and evening — and indeed, every other minute in between — and wish that the government would take drastic steps to improve the deplorable state of this country’s public transportation system. But I’ve come to realize that the jams are caused largely by the drivers themselves and their bizarre Malaysian-driver mentality, so perhaps the public transportation system needs to be resuscitated if only to keep the millions of people who don’t deserve to be behind the wheel, off the roads.